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Do you consider yourself individualistic or Collectivist?

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  • View Poll Results: Individualist or Collectivist?
    Individualist
    28
    62.22%
    Collectivist
    13
    28.89%
    Other
    4
    8.89%

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    Do you see yourself as individualistic or as a collectivist? Obviously most of us occupy a middle ground but which do you lean towards?

    I am quite curious about how different cultures approach the role of the individual and view the idea of the individual either as subservient to the group or superior to it. The Western philosophy seems to be highly individualistic and many Eastern cultures, collectivist. How accurate is this? Do you think the two are incompatible and should we shift our ideology in order to build a more civilised world?

    It would be interesting to know a little about your ideas and thoughts behind this. Also, perhaps your view is a result of your culture or upbringing? In wich case, what is your cultural background etc..

    I would consider myself a collectivist by the way, but feel like an outsider in an individualistic culture.

    Anyway, opinions?
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    I would say my environment has instilled unconscious individualistic values considering the type of society we live in, e.g. encompassing consumerist/selfish desires. But, then again I would like to think of myself as a person who strives for something similar to collectivism; people being treated equally and beginning on the same starting point in life. So, maybe I'm in the middle ground possibly leaning towards collectivism, as I see myself as a liberal/accepting person who see's that coming together as a group is better than being alone. (Thats my opinion anyway)
    • 7 followers
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    There are too many stupid people for an entirely collective society to work. I'd much rather suffer from my own mistakes rather than the mistakes of others.
    • 4 followers
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    Collectivism, although sentimental leftists can't see it, is very creepy and dehumanising.
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    (Original post by Chillaxer)
    Collectivism, although sentimental leftists can't see it, is very creepy and dehumanising.
    Not just leftists - I've had quite a few conservative types tell me that everyone should be willing to die for a "greater good", and that unwillingness to do so is a sign of "it's all about me".
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    You say that western cultures are individualist, but are they really? Can you define individualist? Do you have to sacrifice somethig important from yourself in order to help the community? If so then I'm definitely not a collectivist.

    I think it's wrong for anyone to have to sacrifice something to help the "greater good". The only thing you should aim to do to help others is avoid acts that would harm others. For example, to stop greenhouse gases from being emmited and harming other people. To not being too many people into the world and stretch resources. I even think that people are morally obliged to stop poverty (I think charity is morally compulsary if you have excess money while other people are homeless or starving), etc.

    Dying for my country in order to help them with something? No, I wouldn't do that. Not for any reasons, political or economic, regardless of how much it may help my country.
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    I am individualist.

    Can you explain what Eastern countries have collectivist settings by the way?

    Japan? Not really, your 'individualism' is very present there in the form of 'honor', which is an inherently self interested abstraction.

    China? Nope, again, the top end of society tend to move and act as freely as normal.

    Singapore (Extremely rich country). Well they are very individualist, but also very patriotic, is patriotism a form of collectivism? If so, why is it incompatible with Modern capitalism?

    Dubai? Nope, they have a royal family.

    Care to name any others? Virtually every successful Eastern and Western country has individualist philosophy at its core, and why not? The tyranny of the majority is an incredibly scary thing, the rule of Pal Pott and Mao where intellectuals, hell even people who wore glasses, were lynch mobbed because of their percieved superiority/threat to the uneducated mass.

    Individualism is a fundamental part of human beings, we only know ourselves truly, nobody else does. So it makes sense for those capabilities to not be limited by other people. When I win a race, I win it for myself and for the people I want to win it for (The people who support me), I do not win it for society, I do not win it for some abstract 'good'.
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    (Original post by Dragonfly07)
    You say that western cultures are individualist, but are they really? Can you define individualist? Do you have to sacrifice somethig from yourself in order to help the community? If so then I'm definitely not an individualist.
    I think you may have the 2 muddled up a bit.
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    (Original post by facetious)
    I think you may have the 2 muddled up a bit.
    lol sorry I meant collectivist. I'll edit it now.
    • 6 followers
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    Individualist, even though I'm more interested in promoting the world somehow before I die, rather than dying having only brought improvement for myself.
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    Eastern societies have a form of collectivism that doesn't translate easily over to western norms. It is more a system of conformity than anything else; Oriental societies value knowing ones place and not rocking the boat (Confucianism). South Asian societies have their collective identity through the caste system, where large groups exist in interlocking mechanisms and have done since time immemorial.

    I am an individualist, with collectivist sympathies for fellow individualists
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    Collectivist: I am a highly family-orientated and personal individual, and I've always held the view that individualism is associated with the desire for self-gratification and hedonistic shallowness, rather than valuing the needs of others.
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    (Original post by wikiellie)
    Collectivist: I am a highly family-orientated and personal individual, and I've always held the view that individualism is associated with the desire for self-gratification and hedonistic shallowness, rather than valuing the needs of others.
    congrats. you're a good person.
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    (Original post by wikiellie)
    Collectivist: I am a highly family-orientated and personal individual, and I've always held the view that individualism is associated with the desire for self-gratification and hedonistic shallowness, rather than valuing the needs of others.
    I think you'll find 'family' and 'personal' orientations strike more of individualist than collectivist ideas.
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    Individualist hands down. I think most people who choose collectivist are the ones who stand to improve their personal lot through a collectivist agenda.

    Essentially I believe even the majority of collectivists are motivated by self interests as well.
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    the individual is only the individual the collective allows them to be.

    so, for example, a mini skirting wearing, lesbian atheist would not be able to express her personality or individualism in a country like saudi arabia.

    her individualism is dependent on the collective culture.

    individualists must see themselves as defenders of the collective that allows them to be individuals. anything that threatens the individual collective, like political correctness, must be challenged.
    • 16 followers
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    Individualist, though there are instances such as supporting a sports team when I can be collective but that's not got a huge political dimension to it.
    • 8 followers
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    Some people study economics and game theory and come to understand how individualism works through the free market, some people study sociology and anthropology and come to understand the importance of social structures and constructs. Very few people are sufficiently well read to be able to see the whole picture, sadly.

    Hence these endless stupid left vs right arguments we constantly have on TSR, and in real life. Its almost certainly a bunch of economics students arguing with a bunch of sociology students, both convinced that the other are idiots.
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    I value community, but I prize self-reliance.
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    Individualist I suppose.

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